Before Secretariat, there was Cicada.
A decade before Secretariat became the first colt in 25 years to win the Triple Crown, Christopher Chenery (father of Helen) campaigned a filly who was setting her own records.
At two, Cicada started 16 times, winning eleven races and never finishing worse than third; among her victories that year were the Frizette, Matron, and Spinaway, and she was named champion two-year-old filly.
As a three-year-old, Cicada picked up where she left off, going 6 – 4 – 2 in her first twelve starts, all but two of them stakes races. In this time of “Should she or shouldn’t she?” regarding Stardom Bound and the Derby, a look back at Cicada reveals that her connections felt little compunction in starting her against the colts. Though she never did beat them, she gave at least one of them a hell of a scare.